The near-concurrent exploratory missions of Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson in 1609 signaled the opening of an axis of contact, commerce, and warfare through the borderland between New France and the Dutch and English colonies to the south. Over the next two centuries, the Champlain/Hudson corridor was the avenue for the recurrent military campaigns, the commercial and cultural exchange, and the advancing dispossession of the Native Americans, that transformed an indeterminate “middle ground” into a clearly defined spatial-territorial border. This seminar will re-examine the region’s turbulent military history in the context of this broader social and economic transformation.
Andrew Buchanan teaches American military history at the University of Vermont. While his work has focused primarily on World War II, he has become deeply interested in social and military history of the Champlain Valley since moving to Essex, N.Y., three years ago. An earlier version of this paper was presented to an international symposium on Samuel de Champlain and the French presence in the region, held at Champlain College, Burlington, Vt., in July 2009. It is available online from the Center for Research on Vermont website at .